Wednesday, February 5, 2014

fun with my Raspberry Pi

I ordered a Raspberry Pi recently. I've heard so much about this device in the recent past, I decide to try it out. I was reminded of few microprocessor(fun class) and electrical engineering(not so fun time) classes that I took in my undergrad. I wrote a simple program that could turn a Stepper Motor using a motor controller connected to a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry was only 35$. If you are planning to buy it, it might cost you a little more than that if you don't have the necessary stuff required.

This is what i used (physical stuff) to run a simple Python Program to turn a stepper motor using Raspberry Pi:

  1. Raspberry Pi (Duh! ) model B (model B has 2 USB slots, HDMI, ethernet, you can fit keyboard, mouse, wifi dongle, etc). I guess model A has fewer of these slots and no HDMI.
  2. 4 GB + memory card (the Raspbian OS is just over 2 GB, so won't fit on a 2GB card). I guess any one will do. You can use the ones that go with your camera.
  3. HDMI cable to connect to a TV or monitor.
  4. Power Cable (get an external power adapter for Raspberry Pi).
  5. Screw driver set, if you don't have one (it comes in handy if you are messing with electronics). I got this one.
  6. Jumper cables.
  7. Battery holder for powering the stepper motor.
  8. WiFi dongle. Yes, Raspberry Pi (model B) doesn't come with builtin WiFi. So, I got this one. I didn't have any problems with drivers, etc.
  9. Stepper motor. This one comes with a tire. It will come in handy if are into Robotics.
If you add all these, you might end up spending around $70-$100.

I formatted the SD card with Raspbian OS (its a variant of Debian). Its customized to run on ARM architecture.

I followed the instructions posted on this video on YouTube.

The code that I have below was obtained from above video:

Once you have the program, you need to open the Terminal in Raspberry Pi and give the command as a root to run the program. For example,
Here is a video of the working system: